Here is some advice from admissions officers.
This article is part of our latest Learning special report, which focuses on ways that remote learning will shape the future.
Choosing a college has long been a major decision. It can affect your career, your income, where you live, your friends and possibly your selection of a mate. The admissions process has always been time-consuming, complicated and frustrating. But today, during the Covid-19 pandemic, getting into college will be different and in some ways more difficult than ever.
In hopes of providing some guidance to students and their parents, I asked college admissions officers to offer advice about the process in the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. (Their comments have been edited and condensed.)
Elizabeth Johnson, provost of Post University, Waterbury, Conn.
High school seniors should write the essay, even if it’s not required by their school of choice. The essay can highlight important aspects of their life that align with the preferred school’s mission or culture, offer a window into their plans for the future or provide context to borderline test scores or a semester with lower grades.
And it goes without saying that prospective students should plan to write the essay themselves to ensure it is authentic. Institutions will often ask follow-up questions in an interview based on what was shared in the essay. If there is doubt about the submission’s authorship, admissions teams may run the essay through plagiarism software to assess if it represents original work.
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